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Fujica GER...Nice camera, or a P.O.C.?
Old 10-27-2010   #1
farlymac
PF McFarland
 
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Fujica GER...Nice camera, or a P.O.C.?

I've got a Fujica GER that I am trying to break of it's recalcitrant ways (winding mech jamming), and was wondering if I was wasting my time, or should just chalk it up to a learning experience and keep trying?

It is a lovely little rangefinder, fully automatic shutter/aperture, manual focusing, self timer, with a hotshoe and PC connection. Only other adjustment is setting the GN for the flash. Oh, and I have to make some adapters for the batteries. But it uses the same filter size as my Yashicas.

My questions are:

1) Does this camera lock-up when there is no battery power?

2) Is it a good shooter?

3) Should I just reassemble it, and put it on display?

I like to think that I can get this thing to work again, and maybe I will. It has such nice features, such as the Red/Green flag arrangement to show if the film has been advanced. I'm not too crazy about the automatic operation, but hey, it's just one more thing I don't have to think about when street shooting. And it has it's little quirks too, such as the 'Barbers Pole' in the back indicating the film is moving through the camera. Like, I can't see the rewind knob doing it's thing?

Let me know what you think.

PF
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Old 10-27-2010   #2
farlymac
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I found out that yes, the camera does lock up without battery power. I rigged a couple of zinc oxides together, and used some jumper wires to connect them to the battery well, and Presto! The camera works! It finally dawned on me that since the shutter was not operating, there must be something limiting the travel of the shutter button, so the winder would not reset. I just couldn't see it because it is buried deep in the camera, and I had no diagrams to go on. Kinda like my Voigtlander that will not charge the shutter unless there is film in the camera, or you open the back and rotate the sprocket gears.

So, I'll just put the little jewel back together and make some adapters for the batteries. And clean the viewfinder while I have the camera open.

I look forward to shooting with this camera. Let me know if you have any experience using a Fujica GE or GER, and what kind of quality I can expect from the lens.

PF

Last edited by farlymac : 10-27-2010 at 12:24.
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Old 12-06-2010   #3
farlymac
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14_East Hill Cemetary, Veterans Day 2010 by br1078phot, on Flickr


15_East Hill Cemetary, Veterans Day 2010 by br1078phot, on Flickr

Two photos from a test roll (click on either to see the rest) showing some edge distortion from the f2.8 38mm Fujinon. This usually wouldn't show up much in an 8x10 crop (second photo), so I don't think the Fuji engineers were concerned with designing a lens that would give stellar results from a consumer camera. Exposures were very much right on the spot, and I just have to reseal the back to fix a light leak. Low res scans don't really show the true depth of what this camera can do, so next time I'll go for the better option.

PF

Last edited by farlymac : 12-06-2010 at 09:53.
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Old 05-05-2012   #4
Eugen Mezei
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Some time ago I got a GE and a GER, but beaten up and full of dirt. Now the GE came into my hand from the bottom of some box. The GER may be buried in some other shoebox.

Putting batteries in it the GE came alive, luckily I remembered that my Hi-Matic F clicks without battery but in fact doesn't open the shutter. Thought this could be almost similar on the GE.

I think the camera is ok, just need to unbend its really beaten up filter ring and put new lightseals.

What still bothers me is the shutter spees seems not to change and I don't understand the meaning of the red light on top and the orange light in the viewfinder.
Could you explain me that and what you meant by
Quote:
"there must be something limiting the travel of the shutter button, so the winder would not reset. I just couldn't see it because it is buried deep in the camera"
?

Greetings,
Eugen
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Old 05-05-2012   #5
farlymac
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You made me drag that puppy back out of the drawer, Eugen. The red light/orange light are indicators of the light being too low for a hand held shot. Your results may vary. What I meant by the quote you picked out is that since the shutter button does not travel far enough to release the winder when there are no batteries in the camera, that there must be something in the camera that causes this restriction, but I could not see it.

I actually took the winder, frame counter, and take-up spool out thinking the spool was broken. That's when I realised you need to have batteries in the camera to operate it. Probably why I got it so cheap, as the owner thought it was broke. So did I, that's why it languished in a box for many years before I took it out to work on it. I wasn't enamoured with the performance of the lens though, so I never bothered to fix the light leak, and it's been in a drawer ever since I got it working again. I will say it is a beautiful gem of a camera, and is well suited to the hip-shooting crowd.

PF
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Old 05-08-2012   #6
Eugen Mezei
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Problem is, my always indicate to low light level. Even set at ISO 800 in bright sun. Do you think this would change if I load a film into it? At the moment I have only batteries in it, but no film or even an empty film spool.

As far as the lens goes: I have the Minolta Hi-Matic F and I am very shure the entire lens assembly is the same in both cameras and maybe in some other models. Read somewhere that the lens assembly (glass and all the surrounding) was manufactured by a third party that sold it to different camera makers.
I always found the lens on the Hi-Matic not really sharp. At least not as sharp as I would expect from a 4 element construction.
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Old 05-09-2012   #7
farlymac
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Putting film in the camera is not going to change anything, Eugen. It should function normally with or without it. Are you sure you got the batteries in correctly (the one next to the rewind button should be POS looking at you, and the other should be NEG), and that they are fresh and making good contact? It could have a shorted CdS cell. They don't bad as often as the old selenium ones did, but it does happen.

I do know the Hi-Matic G, and the Yashica ME are identical except for the corners of the bodies, and the name plates. I just looked at the F and GER, and other than a couple of critical measurements (rangefinder base, overall size), I don't see much being the same. The front elements on the cameras are different diameters and different coatings, so I don't even think they are the same. And with the warning lights, tripod mounts, rewind buttons, and CdS cells in different locations, there would have been enough engineering cost to not build the two cameras at the same facility. And the guts are different than on the G model, which is nothing more than an F without the rangefinder. BTW, the Yashica ME has an excellent lens for a zone focuser.

PF
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